The Grand Experiment

Dear Whomever Reads This,

i write this because it keeps going through my mind.  i have learned to listen to my inner voice… the one that is often times more quiet than the cacophony around me.  Sometimes, it is the voice in my mind below even the chatter and cacophony of the surface there.

i just want you to know that i love you.

As simple, silly, fluffy, “New Age” and B.S. as this might sound.  i am committed to living my life as a journey, expression, honor, and experiment of what it means to live my life fully as love in action.  Often times, i find myself filled with disgust, rage, frustration, apathy, and deep and profound hurt and grief.  i fall very, very far short of my commitment.  i am a human being who has deep and intense emotions, feelings, thoughts, beliefs, and values.  i do not always feel that “i love you.”  And it is exactly for these reasons, that i post this entry.

As a dear friend, co-worker, ally, and FRamily (our term for friends who become family) says, “Sometimes, we just have to throw our hat over the fence first and then figure out how to go get it.”  What she means by this is that sometimes we have to get committed to something even before we know exactly how we are going to accomplish it.

i have struggled with so much grief, hurt, and ensuing rage or numbness for as long as i have memories.  i feel deeply the feelings of “hate” and “disgust” almost every day.  People are often times shocked when they hear or see this less than “enlightened” side of myself.  But to “enlighten” means “to bring light to.” So i shine the light on my less than perfect self, my very messy self in order to bring light to my very human journey.  i do not experience “enlightenment” as a journey away from myself, but rather a journey into the deepest exploration of myself, and in doing so, learning to acknowledge all of me.

We can not truly “heal” the world (true healing only happens in wholeness) if we are bringing only a piece, a fragmentation, of our most authentic selves to the process.

This does not mean however, that i must or should behave in a way that you or others translate as “love”.  Love is not always soft, submissive, or nice.  Sometimes Love demands buffer zones (think protecting critical habitat for endangered species including the human animal’s personal well-being in this.)   Or just loving one’s self in the whole process of the experiment of love and being a stand for loving kindness and compassion for one’s self in personal relationships (for example in choosing to leave abusive relationships.)  Sometimes, Love is a very, very fierce stand.  And it may upset and shake up people, moments, experiences, etc…

But at the end of the day, i know wether it truly was love guiding me or not based on if there was judgment in the space of my thoughts or love calling forth my thoughts, words, and actions.

This evening, as i type this, i say “i love you” from the part of me that acknowledges how often i feel no such thing.

i write this because i know that i have to throw my hat over the fence in order to grow, transform, and be the person i am committed to being.  i will fall short.  Very short.  i will have many moments filled with disgust, rage, hatred, apathy, and heart break.  And i will throw my hat over the fence again and again to see how much closer i can get to meaning it when i say it… and meaning it always… in the face of how deeply i grieve and hurt… “i love you.

In this Grand Experiment called “Life” and “Love”,


Published in: on August 29, 2012 at 6:47 am  Comments (35)  

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35 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Reblogged this on Practical Bible Teaching and commented:
    What can we learn about “agape”/unconditional love from a non-Christian?

  2. often our lives consist of reaction vs action we choose to respond to the actions of others as a reflection of our needs we forget that we are part of a whole planet and often are concerned with MY problem forgetting this will also effect someone else. as one of the people your hat has landed near let me encourage u too keep tossing it =)we love back as a reflection of the love recieved this can easily be changed to a reflection of apathy,discord unhappiness etc if u depend on the emotions created by others you will quickly descend hugs hope the storms of life take you to pleasent shores…sbv

  3. Thank you for this beautiful, honest post. What an inspiring reminder of the practice of “agape love.” Sometimes I forget that this is the path I strive to walk, with all of myself, including the messy, frustrated, angry, hurt “shadow.”

  4. Thank you for your universal Love and i send it back ten fold for all you’ve done and plan to do in the future.Your post was right on and hit me good to try and be a better person.We met once and did the handshake and picture thing and have tried to follow your work over the last(i can’t believe it)12 years.I’m afraid i havent joined you site yet but will this month.I’ve helped in the past and want to keep on doing so.Well you take care of yourself and keep on blogin’.I love you to !

  5. A beautiful, simple, yet eloquent post from the heart. Thank you, Butterfly. You are always an inspiration to me and many others.

  6. Thanks Rob! Nice to be still connected in this way after all these years. ; )



  7. Thanks Kevin.

  8. I’ve shared this in a comment before, and it moves me still, how true your words are to my own experience. Rarely in life have I found someone who feels like I do. In fact you and my husband round out the list (and I have never even met you).

    I am so glad you posted this, thank you. I too love the idea of throwing the hat over the fence first! Much love…

  9. Gorgeous piece of writing, straight from the heart, shining with honesty and the willingness to slip into the darkest recesses of human experience so that all can be loved and embraced. I am going through a similar process right now, being dragged back (by life) into all the dark corners, where small orphaned parts of myself have been thrashing about and crying for years, trying to get my attention. I learned – from the adults in my life – at an early age to pay no attention to the weepy parts, the needy parts, the frustrated and angry parts, the disappointed parts, the scared parts, and to just drag them along, if necessary, as I bravely stepped into what was touted as positivity, can-do bravado, and courage. True courage actually would have meant going into all the dark corners and FEELING the feelings I was pushing aside. Well, glad I’m still alive and that there’s still time to own, acknowledge, gently parent, love, and reintegrate all of these abandoned orphans, becoming, in the process, a more authentic version of the who that I am. Thank you, JBH, for your inspiring piece. And continued good fortune on your journey. ❤

  10. Nice…

    This is some good kung fu, Hidden Dragon.

  11. You must love in such a way that the person you love feels free.
    — Thich Nhat Hanh

  12. Blessings Paul on bringing and returning to your “wholeness”. In order to heal, we have to feel. Just like the body sends pain signals to the brain to let us know something is out of balance and wellness, so too, our feelings send us signals that can guide us to our own healing. Love, jb

  13. Thanks Treesa! i am so glad to know this post reflects a part of you. Have fun throwing the hat over the fence! ; ) Love, jb

  14. Went to a Krishna Das kirtan recently. My favorite part was when he swore. Context: Someone he’d invited to attend the event told him, they just weren’t that into “Hindu devotional chanting” these days. Krishna just looked at us and said, “Is that what you really think this is? This is medicine. For the broken heart… Ah, fuck it. Let’s sing.”

    His expression of anger and frustration through swearing humanized him, brought him down from the pedestal we put him on and made him so much closer to us.

    So I love your love, but your rage makes me feel even closer to you.

  15. Thanks David! My favorite teachers and guides are those who show all of their humanity as well! Love, jb

  16. I love U 2…because I choose to love the cry of your soul within you…the authentic you…the passionate, raw, rugged you. The piercing nature of all that you, no, we are. The TRUTH in you. Thank you for sharing the vulnerable, fury of who you truly are. a piercing, fragmented, and delicate spark of star-light. A beam of contradictions. Thank you for being authentically you…and for all you have done and have yet to do.

  17. Thank You Tacamojoe!

    love, jb

  18. What a wonderful reminder, to acknowledge and embrace all the different parts we are. Nothing is as scary when it comes into the light.
    We can give each other permission to share the scary, dark places
    within us, and together, embrace them. And then, we can all laugh, until we snort!

  19. i love when people laugh until they snort Jim! You know it’s really, really good then!

    love, jb

  20. Jim, that’s awesome. I love it when I laugh/snort. ❤

  21. Dear Julia,

    I send this because I woke up this morning inspired by your words and the beautiful moon in the sky last night. I have never written poetry, it has always stayed in my mind. I listened to the voice behind my thoughts, speaking to me as I was still waking up this morning and wrote this poem.

    Throw your hat over the fence
    Let it go
    Without expectations
    Release it with joy
    Let it float down
    To the soft grass
    A landing you can’t see
    But in your mind
    Knowing you have given
    A piece of your heart
    Where it goes is not the point
    Giving is
    Love is
    Let it go
    Imagine what the world could be
    Throw that hat high in the air
    Knowing you have given the world a gift
    No strings attached
    Love for loves sake

    Thank you for sharing a piece of yourself. We all make a difference to each other.


    Mary Beth Holzhauer
    Sent from Marybeth’s BlackBerry

  22. Beautiful Marybeth! Thanks for sharing!

  23. I love you

  24. I love you more !!

  25. Thank You Julia!
    My hat is way over in the next pasture.
    Going to get it Now!
    I Love You Too! (^_^)

  26. Thanks Julia! This came at the right time for me. All love.

  27. i am so glad Jared!

  28. Have fun getting over to the next pasture Brother Antonio!! ; )

  29. Thanks Marcello…that was excellent.

  30. As for me and my ever evolving never ending messy and quite imperfect life practice of working towards Fuller Being Integration,I see and bow to both wolves as being of intrinsic equal value to our ever becoming .I’m learning a little bit more every day how to see and engage with both wolves as invaluable sacred medicine teachers/healers/ guides when I deeply embrace each one with awareness.I bet I’m preachin to tha chior here,right?

  31. Hi Julia,
    As if with a mirror, reading your thoughts exposes this conscious moment of my own. As I consider my own dilemmas perhaps not very different from yours, I cannot help but to remember the song and lyrics by U2, Love is Blindness.
    As a token of appreciation I leave you with an ancient poem:

    Like an archer an arrow,
    the wise man steadies his trembling mind,
    a fickle and restless weapon.
    -Ancient poem

  32. I celebrate the Lorax.
    Watching for the sparks and then the flames of transformation for all.

  33. In the end it’s all just words………

  34. Take that love to children…
    They need you….

  35. I love you too

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